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Healthcare Industry Reflection

Healthcare financial management is a unique field due to the ways in which revenues are received, the types of payors and managed care, overseeing and measuring quality of care for personnel, funding a diverse set facility operations, and planning long-range and capital expenditure allocations  The healthcare industry faces new challenges daily and it is up to the healthcare managers and administrators to strategize and address these issues.  Managers have to do this as well as meet the quality of care standards set.  Technological advances and laws are also ever-changing in healthcare organizations.
One of the challenges healthcare administrators face is securing and growing their market share in an environment where patients are more willing (and have the opportunity) to shop around for healthcare providers or even choose to receive care if it is too expensive.  There are also more legal restrictions, third-party payor requirements  and increased market competition.  Healthcare facilities are consolidated services, creating non-traditional partnerships, and conducting feasibility studies in what services are needed and  how to meet those.
In a Word document, create a list of the top five main differences between the factors that exist between the role of the financial manager of healthcare organizations and the traditional “industry”.
Describe why these differences are different and why these differences are significant.
Discuss any challenges to these differences.

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Healthcare Industry Reflection 

The role of a healthcare finance manager differs from that of managers in traditional industries. In other words, while the decisions of both managers have long-term consequences, they remain different due to the following aspects.

  • The primary goal of healthcare managers is improving patient care outcomes compared to that of managers from the traditional industry of maximizing the value of the firm. In other words, every financial decision made by a healthcare finance manager must focus on improving patient outcomes.

  • Healthcare managers must follow unique reimbursement methods. Here, the biggest difference between healthcare management and other industries is that providers receive payment after they render services, and it can always go wrong leading to payment delays (Garrison & Towse, 2017).

  • Healthcare managers must grapple with higher-risk management by monitoring, mitigating, and preventing risks compared with other industries. They must uphold patient safety while ensuring that patients’ records remain secure from unwarranted access.

  • Healthcare managers must depict high technical skills than managers from other industries. Here, healthcare managers must understand the software hospitals embrace for data management. Therefore, they must have high analytical abilities to make important strategic decisions. Such skills are critical because healthcare managers deal with a wide range of information from different sources.

Healthcare managers have to deal with massive medical investments compared to managers from other industries. For instance, when evaluating the feasibility of a project such as the construction of a new hospital, healthcare managers must conduct a thorough analysis on the cost-effectiveness of the project. Also, they must make massive financial plans factoring in the acquisition of new equipment, furniture, and personnel.

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The above differences occur due to the nature of the healthcare industry. Recently, the introduction of value-based care means that care providers will receive payment based on patient health outcomes rather than on rendered services. The process leads to a complicated billing system, which managers from other industries might not have to deal with. In general, the complexity of healthcare financial management sets it apart from that of other industries. In an article by the WHO (2018), while health-financing systems have a role to play in raising sufficient income for health, they should do so in a manner that allows people to use the services without the risk of severe financial hardship or impoverishment. In addition, since health care facilities deal with vulnerable populations, the human aspect means that financial managers must always remain sensitive to patient needs when making financial decisions.

The healthcare management role of promoting positive care outcomes through financial decisions raises numerous challenges. Undoubtedly, promoting positive care outcomes means offering quality and safe services. Here, healthcare managers must focus on the financial aspect and tie the financial status of a care facility to the quality and safety of rendered services. One question that arises from the situation is whether healthcare managers can link quality and safe services to the financial status of a health care facility. In a journal article by Akinleye (2019), the question lacks a definite answer despite some theorist’s argument that hospitals can offer quality services with less. The greatest challenge for healthcare managers in such situations is linking safe and quality care to cost. In other words, while managers from other industries can offer quality products and services to increase profit margins, healthcare managers must deal with the challenge of linking cost to quality and safety outcomes.

 

 

References

Akinleye, D. D., McNutt, L. A., Lazariu, V., & McLaughlin, C. C. (2019). Correlation between hospital finances and quality and safety of patient care. PloS one, 14(8), e0219124. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0219124

Garrison, L. P., & Towse, A. (2017). Value-based pricing and reimbursement in personalised healthcare: introduction to the basic health economics. Journal of personalized medicine, 7(3), 10. https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm7030010

World Health Organization. (2018). Health systems financing: toolkit on monitoring health systems strengthening. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.

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